England’s carnival in Russia is over with their 1-2 defeat at the hands of Croatia in a World Cup semi-final.
Kieran Trippier’s wonderful free-kick gave the Three Lions a priceless lead before the Croats roared back in the second half with an Ivan Perisic equaliser.
Come the extra time, the Vatrenis had momentum and ball control in their grasp to suffocate England and score the winner. Southgate’s men then tried to throw everything in search of a leveller but it was too little too late.
All the pre-match tactical talks revolved around on how England would combat the tremendously talented Croatian midfield. Well, that proved to be the telling difference in the end as Luka Modric and Co. took control since the start of second half and never looked back.
Let us take a look at the England player ratings and analyse how they performed in Moscow on the biggest stage:
Jordan Pickford (7.5)
Pickford made a fantastic save from Mandzukic in extra time to keep England in the game. He cannot be at fault for both the goals which were conceded. All in all, another fine game from the goalkeeper.
Kyle Walker (6.5)
Walker had a twitchy game when crosses began to fly in from the start of the second half. He got caught ball watching when Perisic made a run on him to score the Croatian equaliser.
John Stones (6.5)
Stones looked comfortable in the first half but had few nervy moments in the second half. He was switched off when Mandzukic made a run across him to score the winner.
Harry Maguire (6.5)
Maguire was commanding in the air as usual but was errant at times with his passing or defending situations more diligently.
Kieran Trippier (7.5)
Trippier had a solid game with his forward runs and defending astutely. His wonderful free-kick gave his country a priceless lead. The sight of him being carried off in extra time was sobbing.
Ashley Young (6)
Began the game well and struggled to keep pace when the Croatians piled the pressure on. Was rightfully substituted at the end of 90 minutes.
Jordan Henderson (6)
Couldn’t do much in midfield because Croatia were bypassing England’s central midfield with ease, especially in the second half.
Dele Alli (5.5)
Alli was very erratic in possession and never looked comfortable playing that central midfield role. He lacked tenacity to win tackles in the central areas of the pitch.
Jesse Lingard (6)
Lingard disappeared rapidly after a bright start. He is another player who looked uncomfortable playing that central midfield role against a quality opposition.
Raheem Sterling (6.5)
Sterling made some very good runs in behind to stretch the Croatian defence. However, his final product is still lacking and was substituted off after the 70 minute mark.
Harry Kane (5.5)
Was fairly anonymous throughout the game but had two glorious opportunities to score England’s second goal. By extra time, he looked like a man completely spent.
Marcus Rashford (6)
Rashford came on to make the difference but able to get the service or a perfect final ball. He tried to run behind and stretch the defence to no avail.
Danny Rose (6)
Rose came on the extra time and looked far from agile. He became more deeper when Croatia continued their onslaught in the extra time.
Eric Dier (6)
Came on to add fresh legs in midfield but couldn’t do much because he never got any support from Alli and Lingard.
Jamie Vardy (NA)
Vardy came on when Croatia got their leading goals 10 minutes from time. The Leicester man couldn’t much to change the game.